This message was sent to the Cal Poly Pomona on Nov. 18 from President Soraya M. Coley and the cabinet.
Over the past months, several incidents on campus and subsequent conversations have brought forward concerns about being a welcoming and inclusive environment for all. We must and will do better. As campus leaders, we are committed to working with all of you towards the goal of making our inclusive values more evident in our words and actions.
Cal Poly Pomona’s diversity — in all dimensions, from aspects of identity, race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, religion, ability, and age to our diverse ideas, thoughts, and experiences — is what makes us distinct and contributes to our institutional excellence. We unequivocally state our value of inclusivity in our strategic plan and in our academic mission.
Last week, our students organized and staged a demonstration in support of “Dreamers,” who are protected by the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals (DACA) — a policy that is currently under threat and is before the U.S. Supreme Court. We understand that students have also planned marches this week to call attention to the racial climate on campus. We respect and support our students as they actively demonstrate their collective commitment to civic engagement and social responsibility, and we share our students’ desire to engage in more conversations about the ways in which we can enhance belonging for everyone on campus and work together to strengthen the means to this end.
Later this week on Thursday, Nov. 21 at 5 p.m. in the Bronco Student Center Andromeda Suite, a second student conversation on campus climate and inclusivity is planned. We are grateful for the candid expressions and for those who have shared their stories. We thank you for the opportunity to continue the dialogue in the spirit of and commitment to making CPP a model of inclusivity and student success.
While we have developed ways in which we intend to address this and achieve our aims — the development and work of a campus Inclusive Excellence Council, clearer processes and procedures for reporting and addressing climate incidents, enhanced opportunities for dialogue and programming, campus climate surveys scheduled for the spring, and hiring that reflects our diversity — we fully expect and welcome that suggestions and additional strategies will emerge through our collective input and collaboration.
Our 80-year-old university continues to evolve as an inclusive polytechnic institution. We know that achieving this goal will require the engagement of all of us — students, faculty, staff, and administrators — and will only be realized through the continued co-creation of a Cal Poly Pomona that meets the standards of mutual respect and engagement we all expect and deserve.